John, who is the Jewish member of our family, always makes potato latkes on the first night of Hanukkah. He takes our electric wok out on the patio and heats up the oil and fries his potato latkes. They are so delicious. This is his super recipe –
5 medium russet potatoes (about 2.5–3 lbs total)
1/2 medium onion
1 Tbsp table salt (technically 1/2 tsp salt per potato, but we rounded up)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp flour or matzoh meal
1 tsp baking soda
Lots of vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup olive oil for frying
sour cream or applesauce to serve
Important tools are an electric fryer and a food processor with coarse shredding disc.
Wash and dry potatoes; leave skin on. Shred potatoes in food processor. Shred onion in food processor.
Mix potato, onion, salt, pepper, garlic, 2 Tbsp olive oil and flour (or matzoh meal) in large bowl. Add baking soda and stir to combine.
Pour the 1/4 cup olive oil and however much vegetable oil you need in your frying vessel. Heat oil mixture to 375 degrees F. While the oil is heating, occasionally press down on the potato mixture and drain the resulting liquid into another bowl (to discard later).
Take a blob of potato mixture and press out liquid to make a 3-inch disk. Slide carefully into hot oil. Make a batch of 6. Fry until golden brown and delicious (this is an eyeball estimation), turning them occasionally in the oil to cook both sides. Remove to a rack on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt, then move the sheet to a 275 degree oven while you fry the rest of them.
Let oil temperature recover between batches.
This should make 3 batches of 6 latkes each. Serve with sour cream or applesauce. _________________________________________________________
As far as I am concerned sour cream as an accompaniment is the way to go. I do not understand this fascination with applesauce.
For my part I made a mess of Brussels sprouts which are cooked cut side down in some water, butter, sugar and salt. At the end when they have used up the water I add dry sherry. It gives them a nutty overtone.